Monday morning my alarm went off at 6am. I put water on to boil for our french-press coffee routine while I stepped outside. After rounding up chairs & accessories that were strewn around camp, I returned to wake the family. With a quick cereal breakfast, we hooked up and crossed to the day-use area, where they have an RV dump station. Birdy took the kids to explore the beach one last time, while I “did the deed.” Hitting the road at 8:01 felt like quite the accomplishment!
As we rolled into Florence (looking for gas) I was reminded of the goal that was missed: Stock our freezer with seafood. I didn’t see any fish market/mongers on the main drag, and didn’t feel like dragging the trailer through town. Birdy was okay with it, so we hit the road without an extra stop. It was fortunate we had a rolling rest-stop with us, because the kids’ bladders must have shrunk, causing several delays.
We dropped off a package to an old friend, and headed north on I-5. We stopped for gas & snacks at the Pilot in Aurora (great stop, by the way) before swinging into the Bonneville Dam Fish Hatchery. This is always a great stop on I-84, with large RV parking available, and no cost for the kids to run around. We went and saw the sturgeon tank, then on to feed the fish.
After visiting the aquarium the day before, it certainly lacked the ‘wow’ factor it usually does with my older kids. However, it was still a great stop, allowing us to stretch our legs, enjoy nature, learn a thing or two. I even found the visitor’s center, which had eluded me all the other times. Some signs read, “Feed the fish 25 cents” but some silly folks were tossing quarters into the pond, instead of buying food from the dispenser.
Continuing east on I-84, we planned to stop at Biggs Junction and cross over the Columbia River to the fruit stand. We found their pricing was no longer a bargain, so we didn’t “stock-up” like we had hoped. The day was getting on, and the smoke from wildfires obscured the view, so we skipped the WW1 ‘stone henge’ memorial at Maryhill, and continued on to Grandpa’s house.
We spent a great evening there, and I had a chance to weigh my rig. I needed a place to turn around, and saw a weigh station by a grain elevator. I rolled through, not realizing it was manned at the time. Looking up, I saw the meter read 12,360 pounds before I stopped on the other side to apologize. (The operator wasn’t bothered by it.) “Geesh,” I thought, “no wonder my 1999 truck protests so much. It’s moving over 6 tons!”
Anyway, Tuesday was fairly uneventful. Travelling home, we stopped for lunch at the reservation near Pendleton. They have quite a nice complex there by the casino. This time we used the McDonald’s & gas station. They had some neat exhibits between things, and the kids enjoyed the over-stuffed animals in the hallway. The kids napped a lot, and fell asleep with their finger up their nose. (So… fairly typical of our road trips, really.)
Thanks for joining us on this adventure, we’ll see you next time!